Recently, I was in a room full of student pastors and youth leaders while a respected Christian speaker and teacher was walking us through several passages of Scripture. The information was wonderful and followed the Text perfectly. While the insight was timely and practical, these were not new passages tucked in away in dusty Old Testament pages. These passages were from the pages of the Gospel. These passages were about the life and times of Jesus Christ.
What struck me was the number of gasps and the number of times I heard someone say from behind me, “that’s good!” I readily accept that not everyone was raised in a church that valued silence – not everyone was taught to listen without speaking – but this was a different kind of response. These people – these youth pastors and youth leaders – were reading some of these texts for the first time!
I was stunned! And it became more noticeable when we began reading The Message Paraphrase by Eugene Petersen! It was as though God had given them an entirely new Bible! Which led to this thought… what are we teaching our students? What are we teaching our church?
To press this point further, I have one more story from this session. An adult spoke up the day after the students participated in Communion and made this statement, “I had a kid who was saved last year say to me that he’d never known that Jesus died on the cross.”
Let that sink in. This student – who apparently accepted Christ one year prior – never knew of the cross!
Pastors, Student Pastors, Volunteer Leaders – If your people don’t get the cross, they can’t get Jesus. There is something in life that simple. Without the cross there is no resurrection. Without the agony, there is no victory.
So again, I pose this question: What are we teaching?